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Watch the Blues in Bb: online guitar lesson by Andy Aledort from Slow Blues Power

Now let’s move up another half step to Bb. Bb is not the most commonly used key for blues guitar, but it is a very commonly used key in big band blues, jazz and R&B. This is because Bb is a very comfortable key for horn players (the tenor sax, for example, is considered a “Bb” instrument), and many early blues hits by guitarists such as B.B. King, or pop hits by guitarists such as Chuck Berry, were played in the key of Bb.

On the guitar, Bb is a fun key to use for blues, as it affords some unusual opportunities in regards to the use of open strings; in this next example, I’ll also introduce a few new techniques for blues soloing. Blues great Stevie Ray Vaughan used the key of Bb to record his version of the Buddy Guy blues classic, “Leave My Little Girl Alone.”